Aussie chick

“Good morning!” The man hailing me adjusted his hearing aid with one hand and waved with the other. His neatly pressed shorts stood to stiff attention around his thin legs — more a cordon than clothing. His short-sleeved shirt and sturdy leather sandals completed the image of a man who took pride in his appearance and valued how he was viewed. Thinning white hair parted with each gust of wind to reveal the pink of his scalp. I noticed his hands as he released his small, wiry-haired dog from its leash to complete its morning ablutions — speckled with sunspots on almost translucent skin, a railway track of criss-crossing veins bulging at the surface, knuckles bent and gnarled and probably arthritic.

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Morning walk

Dear Walking Group Women,

I see you, my siblings, and I ignore you. Namaste. Or Peace Be With You. Or May the Odds be Ever in Your Favour. Or whatever version of in-tune, en pointe (on point? On pointe? On-ee point-ee?), in-the-moment greeting du jour holds currency right now. And yes, I did roll my eyes at your Namaste, so heartily imbued with an affected spiritual significance that a humble ‘hello’ just doesn’t convey.

It’s not you, it’s me. I am not a morning person. 

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Lost: A tale of an impatient child and the lure of televised cricket

When I was ten years old, my father lost me. Like a set of misplaced keys, or the wallet he was certain he put down on the kitchen table, he set me down, and when he returned, I was gone.

As with every summer since I was eight and nearly drowned at my friend’s birthday pool party because nobody had thought it unwise to send a child who couldn’t swim to a pool party, or even let the parents of the birthday girl know I couldn’t swim, I’m at vacation swimming lessons.

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Then and Now

Gather round, grab a bean bag, get comfortable. I’ve got some things to get off my chest, so let’s start with my story of expatriation and repatriation.

 

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Fashionable and stylish on our departure from Brunei

On the 1st of February 1975, my parents and I arrived in Australia from Brunei as new migrants. My mother was 41, my father 47. I wasn’t yet 6 years old. My siblings would join us from India a few months later as we set out to reunite the family. Through a series of circumstances and choices, we found ourselves uprooted both from the home my parents had created in Brunei, and from the boarding schools my siblings had called home for so many years. We were flung together, casting about for a foothold in our new country, our new home, trying to stitch up the edges of a family.

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I’m Outraged. Now What?

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Image by Artondra Hall/flickr

So, you’ve been on Facebook and Twitter over the last two days, and maybe you’ve seen your US friends posting furiously about Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. You might’ve read many articles and watched the videos (if you are not Black, then I encourage you strongly to watch the videos. They are harrowing, but necessary for an understanding of how Black people in the US are treated regularly). And now you’re enraged, heartsore, a whirlwind of emotions, but you don’t know what to do next.

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Some reading over Memorial Day weekend

It’s miserable weather here in Houston. Day 2 of a raging thunderstorm sees the dogs cowering next to me at my writing table, and the children home.

Last night was more than a little rough, with periodic alarms from flash flood warnings punctuating my sleep, and an automated phone call from the school at 4.29am (I checked) to report countywide school closures due to flooding and power outages. So today I’ve been catching up on reading various articles.

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A Note to my 13 Year Old Self

 

at age 15 (I couldn’t find one aged 13)

 

It’s Wednesday and already it’s been a long week. With one thing after another piling up and nagging at me to catch up and keep up. There’s a point here, bear with me! My clever, funny, powerhouse friend Avital runs a weekly column over at SheKnows called Ask A Raging Feminist. Each week Avital asks a group of intelligent, funny, strong women a different question. I’ve had the great pleasure of contributing a few times. These are women I admire and love, so I feel very fortunate to be counted amongst their ranks.

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